“Jay is in a bad humour” would certainly mean Jay is not in high spirits or in a good mood. The usage of the term ‘humour’ in that sense dates back to the ancient times in which ‘humour’ would mean temperament. The theory of Humorism says that the human body is filled with four basic substances, called the four humours, in a certain proportion for a person to be healthy. The imbalance in these four substances called black bile, yellow bile , phlegm, and blood would lead to temperamental changes and disabilities. Out of these, people with excess phlegm (the Phlegmatic) are said to be complacent, content, slow and lazy.Though an interesting read, it is now a discredited theory.
However, the oldest scientific medical system of India, Ayurveda, treats Phlegm or Kapha in similar standards as compared to Modern Medicine. Ayurveda puts forward the unique theory of Tridosha system of human body. The three Doshas (Energy forces) named Vata (wind), Kapha ( phlegm) and Pitta (bile) are believed to facilitate the physical and mental planes of human existence. While Vata (the biological air) takes care of the motion of the body and mind pitta takes care of the activities of the brain, the sensory organs, digestive system etc. Phlegm or Kapha is in charge of the general wellbeing of the body. It lubricates the body and controls the fluid flow inside.
But the excess of Kapha (the fluid substance) can lead to medical conditions like
· Respiratory problems like Asthma
· Cold and flu
· Swollen glands
· Water retention
· Over weight
· Diabetes (Kapha is sweet)
· Benign or harmless tumours
· Heart and Kidney problems (in some cases)
Kapha , the heaviest of the three, is responsible for the stability of the mind, memory, body weight, fertility and strength.
People with Kapha Dosha have great physical strength and stamina when healthy. Their physical built is usually heavy with slow metabolism and a medium skin tone. They are stable, calm and unemotional. They are forgiving and compassionate with a long term memory. At the same time some are dull, lethargic and slow. In extreme cases some people become sad, depressed or reactionary.
The Remedies and Diets
Remember, Kapha does not get along with cold conditions. Having warm water instead of cold drinks helps Kapha Dosha. More than the quantity of warm water it is the frequency of drinking it that works. Herbalists advise adding pieces of ginger to the boiling water for added effect.
Recommended life style:
- Getting up early in the morning before sunrise.
- Do a regular exercise.
- Avoid dampness and be warm.
- Lose Weight.
- Avoid overeating and sleeping in the daytime.
- Keep away from sweets, dairy products and fatty food. Have food that is easy to digest.
- Honey works! Take Honey mixed with lemon juice and water on an empty stomach.
- Vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes and some fruits increase Kapha.
- Grains like Barley and corn instead of rice and wheat, skim milk, green leafy vegetables like cabbage, chicken or turkey instead of red meat etc. are dietary supplements.
- Herbal medicines like Churnas and teas are available to check Kapha .
– Aparna K V